Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is overcast and 41 degrees in Townsend this morning.  This is going to be a beautiful weekend.  You need to go fly fishing in the Smokies.  Celebrate the first day of March 2014 on a trout stream.

Little River’s flow is perfect at 295 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.10 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 333 cfs.

Currently, the water temperature is 40 degrees.  That number will rise today and tomorrow.

The high temperature today is expected to be 60 degrees.  Tonights low should be 42 degrees.  According to, the high tomorrow will be over 70 degrees.  The National Weather Service predicts 64 degrees.  It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong.  It is going to be nice.  There is no chance for rain until Sunday night.

Fishing will be fairly slow this morning due to the low water temperature.  Sleep in, take your time and go later today.  When the water warms, trout and aquatic activity will increase.  I won’t say the fishing is going to be great but it will get better as the water warms. Tomorrow will probably be even better.

Nymphs might work best, especially early.  You will probably see some adult aquatic insects on the water depending on where you are.  They could be caddis, small stoneflies, blue wing olives, Blue Quills or Quill Gordons.  If you don’t see adults on the water it doesn’t mean trout won’t take your dry fly.  I’ve talked to a couple of local anglers who have caught trout recently on Quill Gordon patterns, though they didn’t see any bugs on the water or rocks.

On the other hand, you may see the insects but not the trout.  Try dry flies.  Maybe the trout won’t take the dry flies.  It’s highly possible.  If that happens and the water where you are is warmer than it is now, try a wet fly or nymph.  A Pheasant Tail or Quill Gordon wet fly would be good choices.

Shipments of new Spring 2014 merchandise are arriving.  Fly tying materials are coming in too.  We are getting ready for the big rush.  Orders from Orvis, Sage, Simms, Rio and Redington have arrived.  Fishpond didn’t show up yesterday.  I guess it will be Monday.  A big Chota order will arrive Monday.  Wapsi, Hareline Dubbin and Umpqua hooks arrived.  I’m still waiting for Whiting Farms.

A couple of the coolest things we got are the new Orvis Superfine fiberglass fly rods.  So far we have a 3 wt and a 4 wt.  The 5 will come later.  These are the lightest fiberglass rods I’ve held in my hand.  It is hard to believe they are glass rods.  They cast beautifully.  I recall our Regional Manager telling us they used Helios technology and fiberglass to produce rods this light.  I’m waiting for the 5 weight.

I sent an e-mail to Riley Cotter yesterday.  He is the sales manager at Umpqua.  I can’t help but tell these guys, I’m hoping, for the first time in years, we have great weather all over the country this spring.  If that happened, the fly fishing industry would boom.

Sure, if we have great weather here, our business would be great.  The people who sell all over the United States and the world look at things from a broader perspective. 

Bill Reed, the National Sales Manager at Orvis told me the same thing.  He said he would love to have just one year of perfect weather all over the Country.  Just one year would change everything in our industry.  The odds of that happening are low.  We still like to talk about it.  Maybe 2014 will be that year.

I have a bad cold and am quarantined to my office.  I can look out the window at the Great Smoky Mountains and wish I were doing what you can be doing today.  We need it and we deserve it.  All of us deserve a nice day on a river after the winter we’ve been through.  Today you can do that in East Tennessee.

UPDATE 1:55 PM - The water temperature is moving up, but slowly. Right now it is only 42 degrees. We think fishing will be better tomorrow than today. The water will certainly be warmer tomorrow.

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
March 1, 2014

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